Kenya warns Turkana herders against crossing into Uganda with illegal firearms

  • World
  • Sunday, 28 May 2023

NAIROBI, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Saturday warned Turkana pastoralists, located in northwest part of the country, against crossing into neighboring Uganda while carrying illegal firearms to avert skirmishes

The Head of Public Service, Felix Kosgei, said that though there is an agreement that allows Kenyan herders to cross the border to Uganda in search of pasture for their livestock, carrying illegal guns had been revoked.

At an education forum in Lodwar town, Kosgei said carrying illegal firearms would fuel border conflict and violate agreements reached between Kenya and Uganda.

"The government will not take responsibility for any herder found contravening the agreement," Kosgei said, warning tribal leaders against instigating border conflicts to gain political mileage.

He stressed the need for pastoralist communities to embrace peace and coexistence for the sake of development.

He said Kenya had negotiated for the sharing of livestock resources across the border with Uganda, adding that the grazing framework must be respected by the local herders

In April, a Ugandan court martial sentenced 32 Kenyans to 20 years each in prison for illegally possessing firearms and ammunition.

The Turkana herders were convicted after pleading guilty and sentenced to serve jail terms in Northern Uganda.

The Uganda disciplined forces on April 8 raided a cattle enclosure in northern Kenya where they recovered 31 guns, 752 rounds of ammunition, 19 bows and arrows.

Last week, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni threatened to expel all Kenyan Turkana herders if Nairobi fails to hand over the suspected killers of five Ugandan nationals and put an end to illegal guns smuggling and livestock rustling.

Museveni, in an 18-page Executive Order, said that despite allowing the Turkana herders to settle in Uganda's Karamoja area, they have continued to smuggle guns, threatening peace and stability.

He attributed the possession of firearms by the Turkana herders to Kenya's failure to conduct proper disarmament efforts.

According to Museveni, the Turkana herders killed three Ugandans including a geologist and two security officers.

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